Local knowledge certificates

In order to operate a vessel for commercial purposes you may be required to hold a local knowledge certificate in addition to a certificate of competency.

A local knowledge certificate is required where the risks, due to local conditions, are sufficient to justify additional permissioning requirements.

Local knowledge certificates are the responsibility of Maritime Safety Victoria.

Following a comprehensive state-wide review of the local knowledge framework, a number of changes to certification requirements came into effect on 1 October 2020.

The changes include:

  • the removal of LKC requirements for some State Waters deemed to be low risk – due to improvements in navigational safety practices, technology, vessel design and capability
  • the expansion of some certification areas to include waters deemed to be high risk – such as waters adjacent to Port Phillip Heads and Lakes Entrance Bar
  • a requirement by the applicant to attend the relevant port office for a new application and the renewal of an existing LKC – to increase the visibility of LKC holders in port waters to the relevant Harbour Master.

Domestic commercial vessels masters who currently hold a local knowledge certificate do not need to do anything until their certificate is due for renewal. The certificate remains valid until its expiry date.

Guidance and forms



The fee payable depends on the type of application and certificate type. You must pay the application fee prior to your certificate being issued.

For information about the fees for commercial maritime qualifications, including certificates of competency and pilot licences, please contact us.

There are a number of convenient methods of paying your Request for Payment notices for your commercial maritime qualifications or vessel survey fees. These payment options are listed below.

Payment options


Payments can be made over the internet via BPAY. Contact your bank or financial institution to make this payment from your cheque, savings, debit, credit card or transaction account. More information is available on the BPAY website.

In person

Simply visit one of the Australia Post outlets and present your Request for Payment notice with your chosen method of payment for an easy and secure payment option. Postbillpay is available at more than 3800 outlets around Australia.

Methods of payment are cash, EFTPOS, credit card and cheque.

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